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A Wooden Rib System Or A Radial System

Is Needed As Temporary Support

During The Dome Kit Assembly

American Ingenuity's Dome Building Kits are erected using a system to temporarily hold the panels in place until the seam concrete and concrete on the entryways, dormers, cupola and link has cured. The systems (Rib used in the assemble of the 34' or larger domes or the Radial method) are dismantled upon completion of the dome and the 2x4’s are recycled as part of the interior framing. For example, around the perimeter of the second floor a two foot tall knee wall is built. 2x4's not tall enough for interior framing can be used for the knee wall. Behind this knee wall, electrical, plumbing or ducting can be run or the space can be used for storage.

The Rib System consists of using your own 2x4’s (that have been cut to length, holes drilled and the ends painted red, white or blue (or you can purchase them cut, drilled and painted from 321-639-8777 for pricing) and the steel hubs on loan from America Ingenuity to assemble a free standing framework which matches the geometry of the dome.

  • The rib system dictates exact panel placement.
  • Once all the seams, entryways, dormers, link, cupola, etc. have been concreted and the concrete has cured, the rib system is disassembled, the hubs are returned to American Ingenuity and the 2x4’s are recycled as interior framing.
  • As the building kit is being assembled upon the temporary wooden rib system, extra 2X4's are used to support the panels and the rib system.
  • The advantages of using the Rib System Option versus the Radial System Option are:
    • With a Rib System in place, a crane can be used to set as many as 2 rows of panels in one day.
    • Since the Rib System reflects the dome geometry, a panel cannot be inadvertently positioned incorrectly.
    • The Rib System is most suitable for a large crew and for fast paced construction.
    • The Rib System is preferable on the 34', 36', 40’, 45’, 48’ and 60' in diameter domes.
    • The hub rental charge is a $800 deposit with the hubs being kept for four months. After that the rental fee is $10 per month. If the hubs and bolts are returned to us intact within the four month period, the complete $800 deposit is returned. Thereafter, we subtract $10 for each additional month the hubs are kept and return the deposit difference to the client. The hubs are returned to Ai via UPS or common carrier at the client's expense.
    • The Rib System is bolted together from 2x4’s and color-keyed hubs. It is usually assembled on the ground working from the top to the bottom and hoisted up as you add each row below the last. A scaffold tower (which we illustrate in our Assembly Manual) or a long reach lifting device can be used to lift the rib system.

Tools and Materials needed to assemble the Rib System:

  • Set of steel scaffolding to reach at least the dome height plus three feet (the dome height can be estimated by taking one half of the diameter of the dome.)
  • Five cable hoists (come-a-longs)
  • 9/16” wrenches and ratchet
  • 46 hubs, 255 bolts, nuts, and washers (borrowed from American Ingenuity)
  • 15 diagonal braces: 2x4x8’ studs
  • 100’ plus of rope, 500 lb. test
  • Precut, holes drilled and color-coded wood ribs (2x4's used are lightweight wood, not pressure treated).
    • The 34', 36', 40', 45', and 48' rib system requires 135 - 2x4's
    • The 22’ and 27’ need 75 - 2x4’s
    • The 60’ needs approximately 200 - 2x4's.
    • If you do not want to buy the 2x4's and cut them to length, color code them and drill the holes, you can purchase them from American Ingenuity. Due to the fluctuating cost of 2x4's, we estimate the cost when you need them.
  • Two pounds 12d or 16d common nails
 The following is a description of the Radial Assembly Method for placement of the dome panels.
  • As each panel is placed, a measurement is taken from the panel point to the center of the dome to assure correct positioning.
  • The panel is then held by 2x4’s braced against the floor while the seams are concreted.
  • The advantages to this system over using the Rib System Option are:
    • Panels can be raised using a rolling scaffold and a winch rather than having to rent a crane.
    • The radial System saves the time of preparing ribs, erecting and dismantling the Rib System.
    • It uses fewer materials.
    • The Radial System is most suitable for a small construction crew and is usually used on Ai’s smaller domes, 22’, 27’, 30’ and 34’ domes because the panels weight less and the center height is less.

The American Ingenuity dome building kit does not include doors and windows. There is such a variety and varying price points possible, we leave their selection and local purchase up to each client. The floor plan you select will determine how many entryways or dormers you will have. Within the entryways and dormers {eye brows}, you or your framing subcontractor installs a vertical wall to frame in what ever standard doors or windows you have purchased locally.

No interior items are included except for the dome shell wall board. A.I. believes you should not pay shipping on conventional items that you can purchase locally such as: foundations, basement wall kits, second floor joists, stairs, plumbing, electrical, framing, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, lighting fixtures, etc.

The component panels do not come with any paint on them. We do not add any color to the concrete. On site you concrete the seams so if we painted the panels or added color to the concrete it would not match your painted seam concrete. The concrete shell is painted after the entire building kit is assembled. The painting should include a concrete primer and two coats of good quality latex paint. The dome can be painted any color, tan, blue, green, etc. preferably a light to medium color to reflect the sunlight. The following gallon calculation is for each coat of sealer or paint.


Dome Size:
Exterior Surface:
Gallons of Paint:


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